Mayflies: New BBC drama to star Martin Compston, Tony Curran and Ashley Jensen

BBC One has announced brand new Scottish drama Mayflies, based on the novel of the same name by Andrew O’Hagan.

Martin Compston (Line Of Duty, Vigil), Tony Curran (Your Honour, Outlaw King, Doctor Who) and Ashley Jensen (After Life, Extras) will lead the cast.

It will be made by Synchronicity Films (The Cry), adapted by Andrea Gibb (Elizabeth Is Missing) and directed by Peter Mackie Burns (Rialto).

A teaser shares: “Everyone has a Tully Dawson (Tony Curran) – the friend who defines your life. In the summer of 1986, in a small Scottish town, Jimmy (Martin Compston) and Tully ignite a brilliant friendship based on music, films and the rebel spirit.

“With school over and the locked world of their fathers before them, they rush towards the climax of their youth – a magical weekend in Manchester, the epicentre of everything that inspires them in working-class Britain.

“There, against the greatest soundtrack ever recorded, a vow is made: to go at life differently. Thirty years on, half a life away, the phone rings. Tully has the worst kind of news, and a request that will test their friendship, love, and loyalty to the limit…

“Mayflies is a memorial to youth’s euphoria and to everyday tragedy. A tender goodbye to an old union, it discovers the joy and the costs of love.”

Gaynor Holmes, BBC Drama Commissioning Editor, said: “We’re incredibly proud to continue the BBC’s longstanding commitment to showcasing the very best of Scotland and Scottish talent with this distinctive new drama.

“Mayflies is an intimate and devastating portrait of male friendship that manages to be both life-affirming and heartbreaking, and we’re delighted to have assembled an outstanding lead cast and creative team to bring it from page to screen.”

Original novelist Andrew O’Hagan added: “For a while now, I’ve admired the work of Synchronicity Films – Scottish in its bones and international in complexion – and it’s a thrill to see them bringing Mayflies to BBC One.

“The story is a very personal one to me, and it’s amazing to see the characters come to life in Andrea Gibb’s wonderful adaptation. Director Peter Mackie Burns has a singular vision, and I look forward to seeing what he makes of the Ayrshire landscape and the emotional reality of this story.”

Mayflies will air on BBC One, BBC Scotland and iPlayer with a broadcast date to be announced.

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